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Sisimiut (Holsteinborg), Greenland

Sisimiut is a remote town on Greenland’s west coast 24 miles (40 km) north of the Arctic Circle. Arrive to an extraordinary panorama, a shock of bright primary colors against rocky gray hills, overlooking a pristine harbor. The colors of the buildings have meanings that date back to the colonial era, though the Saqqaq, Dorset and Thule inhabited the region before the Danish. In general, they painted schools red; yellow signified a hospital, green stood for communications, and blue for fish factories. Nowadays, residents can paint their homes any color.

It is Greenland’s second-largest city, with a population of 5,600. There’s a local bus service that gives city tours or you can meander around town. Marvel at a gate made from the jawbones of whales, view stacks of hand-made kayaks, and pop into local shops. Most accept major credit cards but bring Danish Kroner to purchase one-of-a-kind trinkets from Greenlandic artists.

Sisimiut means “where the foxes are” in Greenlandic, but you’re more likely to encounter sled dogs. Though they are adorable, avoid petting these working pups. Dog sledding, kayaking, and hunting aren’t just beloved pastimes; they are a way of life in this remote town. You can learn more about their traditions and history at the Sisimiut Museum and Taseralik Culture Center. If you love the outdoors, go into the backcountry or kayak glimmering fjords. Sisimiut is the home of the Arctic Race, a 3-day cross-country skiing dash. 

Top 3 Things to Do in Sisimiut, Greenland

1 Sisimiut Museum View artifacts and a reconstructed peat house to learn about Sisimiut’s ancient history.
2 Taseralik Culture Center Get to know more about local culture through movies, art, theater and music.
3 Explore the Great Outdoors Take a guided hike into the backcountry or a boat tour of Sisimiut’s pristine waterways.